Caution: spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate
How does Terminator: Dark Fate's Rev-9 differ from the T-1000 introduced in Terminator 2: Judgement Day? Memorably played by Robert Patrick, the T-1000 was a major component of Judgement Day's success, taking over the reigns from Arnold Schwarzenegger as the dogged villain relentlessly pursuing its target over the course of the film. While Arnie remained the star of the show, the T-1000 earned a few iconic moments in its own right and demonstrated how Skynet in the future was upgrading its machines and making vast improvements to their murderous capabilities. The T-1000 was also a landmark character in the use of CGI in cinema.
Although the Terminator franchise has featured a host of different and returning Terminators over the years, these cyborgs have been written out of the chronology, with Dark Fate following in the wake of Judgement Day as a third installment, rather than a sixth. Consequently, Gabriel Luna's Rev-9, the primary antagonist of Dark Fate, is a direct successor to Robert Patrick and, fittingly, the two models share several similarities. The most prominent is their ability to turn into molten, liquid metal and reforge at will. This allows both the Rev-9 and the T-1000 to seep through small gaps, alter their body shape and recover from heinous injuries that would decimate a solid Terminator. Nevertheless, the Rev-9 and T-1000 are still very different enemies.
The Rev-9 Comes From A New Future
The T-1000 was, just like the original Terminator, sent back by Skynet to prevent the formation of the human resistance, this time with orders to kill John Connor himself, rather than his mother. Sarah and John manage to prevent the formation of Skynet in Judgement Day, but human and machine are destined to collide anyway, and a new apocalyptic future sees the advent of Legion, an anti-terror A.I. that, just like Skynet before it, didn't take long to realize Earth could do without humans.
Legion is met with push-back from the few remaining members of humanity, and resolves to send Rev-9 assassins to the past to prevent the leader of the Resistance from ever beginning their crusade against the machines.
The Rev-9's Two Bodies Explained
In terms of abilities, the biggest difference between the T-1000 and the Rev-9 is the latter's splitting ability. Gabriel Luna's Terminator can separate itself into two different entities, fighting separate battles at any one time. The two units are capable of acting independently from each other, and can merge together again at will. Since the split separates the exterior liquid alloy from the inner endosekelton, only one of the Rev-9's bodies can make use of the human disguise. This means that the Rev-9's two bodies comprise of one unit that looks like Luna and another that bears the classic, metallic Terminator appearance.
How The Rev-9 Is Different From The T-1000
Predictably, the Rev-9 is a generally tougher opponent than the T-1000, both in terms of endurance and deadliness. While both models can morph their polyalloy bodies into various shapes, the Rev-9 does so in more creative and flexible ways, although this is at least partly due to the modern CGI effects compared to the rudimentary technology of 1991. Another key change is that the Rev-9 is carbon-based, as opposed to the entirely liquid construction of the T-1000 and, in narrative terms at least, this could account for the Rev-9's increased durability.
Terminator: Dark Fate briefly features scenes set in Grace's post-apocalyptic future, highlighting earlier models of the Rev-9. These Rev-7s are most beast-like in nature and possess tentacles that act as their primary weapon. The splitting ability remains present, but the Rev-7 lacks the lifelike exterior of its successor, meaning that both halves look the same. The Rev-7 appears a little weaker than the 9 unit, taking some heavy blasts from the Resistance's futuristic weaponry.
How The Rev-9 Is Defeated
Judgement Day's T-1000 was destroyed by exposing the cyborg to extremely high temperatures, but the Rev-9's destruction takes a little more ingenuity. Legion's Terminators are susceptible to E.M.P. blasts, especially from close range. After Sarah Connor's pulse weapon was inadvertently rendered useless, Grace sacrifices herself in order to provide the good guys with her own energy core; a device packing enough juice to blast the Rev-9's endoskeleton. Terminator: Dark Fate's villain is perhaps only defeated in this manner because his liquid exterior is destroyed via use of a turbine.